A team from the University of Reading have won two prizes in the final of the Young Entrepreneurs Scheme 2018.

Team MooFree won both the People’s Award and the overall Environment YES Prize at the YES18 final on the 11th December.

Professor Parveen Yaqoob, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) at the University of Reading said:

“We are extremely pleased to support the Yes Competition again this year and I am thrilled that our innovative young researchers at the University of Reading have come home with two awards. This outstanding achievement not only reflects our excellence in food and agriculture research but is also testament to the talent that is nurtured through entrepreneurial programmes at the University.”


The team was made up of Simona Grasso and Andrew Goodall, Postdoctoral Research Fellows in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, Natalie Masento and Esmie Wescott, Postdoctoral Research Fellow and PhD student in the School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy. We are proud that two of our IFNH members were part of the winning team. The team came up with a conceptual company called ‘MooFree’, which produces animal-free dairy protein ingredients, enabling manufacturers to produce dairy-free products.  MooFree proteins, according to the company’s business case offer the same taste and nutrition as dairy products and do not require manufacturers to change their processes.

The animal-free whey and casein dairy protein concentrate was produced from industrial food waste using MooFree’s patented process with a “unique cocktail of enzymes that increases yield and reduces fermentation time by 90%, compared to traditional methods”. MooFree’s proposal is driven by the rising interest in plant-based diets.

The Reading Team were one of 12 teams at the ‘Plant, microbial and environmental’ themed workshop hosted by Syngenta in October and won a place in the final where they went head to head against seven teams from across the UK.


YES is a competition which encourages UK postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers to develop business awareness and an understanding of entrepreneurship. The competition asks those taking part to prepare a business plan for a company.

It is organised jointly by The University of Nottingham’s Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship(HGI), the  Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC)Take a look at the website if you’d like to find out more about the scheme.